Den Helder

For visitors to the area, Den Helder is best known as the gateway to the island of Texel, the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. But the long-time military base and former naval shipyard has a number of other attractions. These include the Dutch Navy Museum, the Napoleonic Fort Kijkduin, the Nollen Landscape…

Dutch Navy Museum

Late 20th-century Dutch guided-missile frigates carried a large radar dome housing a revolutionary 3D radar that could measure an object’s distance, direction and height at the same time. The radar had a range of 242 miles (390km) and could track over a hundred targets simultaneously, making it the most powerful radar of its time (1975-2000)….

Hardtop Project, Part 7

Lay Up Begins!

While the previous post the work happened over 4-5 days in this post the work was done in about 5-6 hours. Even with the extra slow hardener (West Systems) the team has to work very quickly.

The technique is referred to as “Wet Preg”. All the cloth is precut, wetted in a bath then run between two rollers saturating the fabric and squeezing out the excess resin. The cloth is then layed out between 2 thin sheets of plastic, this allows the cloth to be handled, cut and trimmed as needed. To apply the cloth the plastic is removed from one side then the cloth is laid by hand and formed into place. Once in position the top layer of plastic is removed. Once the lay up including coring is completed the entire structure is vacuum bagged which squeezes all the layers together and pulls out any air and excess resin. The technique was first developed in New Zealand and is now a fairly common technique.

Below: Paul laying down a strip of  Wet Preg carbon cloth into one of the ribs. The plastic film has been removed from the underside of the cloth but not the topside……yet.

The center “beam”. This channel is hollow for solar and light wiring.

 Wetting out the Corcell® coring.


Below: Bagging the entire structure.
Under vacuum!

Below: You can see the excess epoxy being pulled up into the bleed cloth. Pauls says the pressure is approximately 9 pounds per square inch, over a ton of pressure on this structure.

Texel

The island of Texel, with its extensive sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, is the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. Ferries make the 15-minute crossing north to Texel from Den Helder every half-hour during busy periods. Texel was popular historically as well. Texel Roads, off the southeast coast of the island, was one…

Sharing

Today Dee Dee and Dora did something unusual – for them. They nicely shared a toy. The two girls sat side by side while they worked diligently to eviscerate a poor stuffed puppy.Just in case you believe Mom simply got a lucky shot, she took a video. Wh…

OUR FINAL CRUISING DAYS ABOARD ENVOY

Envoy’s ownership is now transferred to Larry and Catherine Wood of Brisbane, Australia and we’re sure they’ll have as much fun and adventure as we enjoyed. 
Envoy has been de-registered from the NZ Shipping Register in preparation for her new Australian listing.
We’ve been back home in Auckland for three weeks now and busy searching for a new boat. We looked at about 15 before we found one we really liked and signed the deal last Wednesday, subject to survey, sea trial and engineering report. This should be all complete in about two weeks and then I’ll provide some details.
We’ve been too busy to sort out our problem of loading images to the blog so I’ll post this update and add images next week.
Now back to the Med. It’s late September and we leave Kastos Island to cruise through the Dragonera and Echinades Islands. There are several islands in this remote and barren group with many fish farms among them. Although there are good day anchorages here it’s not the place you’d want to move around at night if you needed to, so we head to the nearby mainland coast and anchor at a bay called Ormos Dhioni. This is nothing special but well sheltered and just a few hundred metres from the mouth of Greece’s longest river – the Achelos, a slow flowing river passing through marshlands and forming a shallow sandspit where it flow into the sea.
Next day we cruise about 25 miles to Messalonghi. This is a very sheltered harbour about half a mile wide at the end of a two-mile-long canal from the sea. Here we find a handful of yachts anchored and the superyacht Christina O moored alongside the jetty. This is the ship formerly belonging to Aristotle Onassis and named after his daughter. The ship is a converted WW2 warship which saw service at the D Day landings and was beautifully restored and modified.
Messalonghi is important in recent Greek history as a centre of resistance to Turkish rule. In the early 19th century the Turks attacked the town and 7,000 citizens escaped through a gate in the walls and fled into the hills. Unfortunately they encountered some Albanian mercenaries working for the Turks and were ruthlessly slaughtered.
Here my brother Charles joins us having flown in from Scotland for our final cruise aboard Envoy back to the marina.
We cruise to Ormos Antissamos on Cephalonia Island and during the night there’s a lot of distant thunder and lightning but no problem for us. Next day we head to Kalo Limani where it’s very calm until midnight, but then another thunderstorm starts and continues non-stop until dawn with some very heavy rain but without the violent winds that normally accompany these storms. Charles wonders what he’s got himself into having come here for some great Med late summer weather.
Next day we motor to nearby Ay Eufemia to find it’s been severely flood-damaged by the heavy rain and the sea is brown to several hundred metres offshore. As we approach the harbour we’re warned not to enter because of the large amount of driftwood floating around so we anchor outside and take the dinghy in. Many shops have been flooded and the locals are busy cleaning up and trying to get the thick mud off the roads and footpaths.
Next day we cruise to Ormos Vlikkho on Lefkada Island. Our anchor isn’t free-falling very well indicating the windlass needs greasing, so we strip the above deck components and give it a good grease – then it’s all good. We spend a few days here basically just filling in time before we go to the marina and doing wintering preparation.
On Monday 7th October the forecast is for strong winds and “destructive thunderstorms” so we decide to go into Lefkada marina a couple of days early. On the way in we refuel for the only time this year (our new boat won’t be quite so economical!) putting in 1,690 litres plus the Stanadyne fuel stabiliser that we use.
Next posting – our final days aboard Envoy.

Hardtop Project, Part 6

The support structure is mostly carbon/epoxy/foam core construction but the “flange” that will be bonded to the flybridge coaming is solid glass/epoxy. In the previous post you can see the planning and mock up of the design. This way Paul uses the boat…

De Nollen Landscape

In the 1980s, Dutch artist R.W. van de Wint began an experimental project that became his life’s work. Over the course of 25 years, he created paintings, steel sculptures and large structures amongst old bunkers in the dune area De Nollen in Den Helder. De Nollen was the southern extent of the Fort Dirksz Admiraal,…

Vlieland to Den Helder

Den Helder is the main naval base for the Royal Netherlands Navy and the harbour is packed with large and imposing naval ships. Within the port is the Royal Netherlands Navy Yacht club, where we stayed for several nights in sight of all the navy ships plus many large commercial and Coast Guard vessels. From…

Vlieland

The beach Vliehors is an 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) sandy plain, exposed to the North Sea, along the west side of the Dutch island of Vlieland. The Vliehors Expres carries visitors the length of the beach, leaving wonderful poems in the sand. Or you can visit by bicycle, as we and many others did. Below are trip…